Posted on January 1, 2012
Last updated December 9, 2013
In our publication 2013 State Scorecard: Why Gun Laws Matter, the Law Center ranked each state based on a review of state laws in 30 different firearms-related policy areas. Texas ranked 33rd out of 50 – having enacted few gun violence prevention laws.
In 2013, the Texas legislature enacted new laws that relate to firearms. These new laws are described below.
Laws that Strengthen Gun Regulation
|TX S 1189||Provides that a police officer taking a person into custody because he or she is mentally ill and poses a serious risk of harm to self or others may immediately seize a firearm in the person’s possession. Provides a procedure for return or other disposition of the firearm.|
Laws that Weaken Gun Regulation
|TX H 48||Repeals the requirement that a concealed weapon license holder complete a course in continuing education prior to renewing a license and authorizes an investigation of the license holder to determine his or her continued eligibility for a license.|
|TX H 333||Creates a criminal penalty for hotel operators who fail to provide notice as specified of the hotel’s policy regarding the possession, storage, and transportation of firearms.|
|TX H 798||Eliminates certain misdemeanors as disqualifying factors for a concealed weapon permit.|
|TX H 1349||Provides that a concealed weapon permit applicant may not be required to provide his/her social security number as part of an application.|
|TX H 2407||Provides that a person whose guardianship has been terminated may petition for restoration of his or her firearm rights.|
|TX H 3142||Removes the requirement that concealed weapon permit applicants obtain safety training with the same type of handgun he or she intends to carry.|
|TX S 864||Weakens handgun safety training requirements for applicants for first-time and renewal concealed weapon permits.|
|TX S 987||Authorizes the attorney general to bring an action to obtain a temporary or permanent injunction against a local government that adopts a firearms or ammunition regulation.|
|TX S 1400||Preempts local regulation of air guns.|
|TX S 1907||Prohibits an institution of higher education from prohibiting a student who is a concealed weapon permit holder from transporting or storing a handgun or ammunition in a locked, privately owned motor vehicle on a street, driveway or parking area located on the campus.|
Among other things, Texas requires the reporting of mentally ill individuals to the federal database used for firearm purchaser background checks.
Texas law does not, however:
- Require a background check prior to the transfer of a firearm between unlicensed individuals;
- Require firearms dealers to obtain a state license;
- Regulate the transfer or possession of assault weapons, 50 caliber rifles, or large capacity ammunition magazines;
- Require gun owners to obtain a license, register their firearms, or report lost or stolen firearms;
- Limit the number of firearms that may be purchased at one time;
- Regulate unsafe handguns (“junk guns” or “Saturday night specials”);
- Significantly regulate ammunition;
- Allow local governments to regulate firearms; or
- Give local law enforcement discretion to deny a concealed handgun permit.
In 2010, Texas had the 24th highest number of gun deaths per capita among the states. In addition, according to data published by Mayors Against Illegal Guns, in 2009, Texas exported the fourth largest number of crime guns among the states. Texas also is consistently the state that supplies the greatest number of crime guns to Mexico. In 2009, 40% of the Mexican crime guns that were traced to the U.S. were originally sold in Texas.
Texas Firearms Laws
For details about specific firearms laws in Texas, choose a topic below, or see all of the firearms laws in this state.